When those meant to be executives become startup founders, everyone loses

Source | The Economic Times : By Sid Talwar

There’s this great visual most people have of being an entrepreneur or a founder. It’s a poster of a young college dropout, next to the logo of a billion-dollar company they founded, surrounded by famous people and, of course, money. Lots of money.

It seems, all of a sudden, everyone wants to be on that poster. And everyone believes the only way to be on that poster is by being the founder of a company. In fact, even the government seems to desperately want everyone in the country to be on that poster.

Heaven forbid, if you are not a founder, then suddenly there is no poster and you have lost out in the startup revolution. This perception is so far from reality that it’s dangerous. Mark Suster described entrepreneurship well: “Being an entrepreneur is sexy… for those who haven’t done it.”

A founder is one member of a team. Just like every other member, they have certain responsibilities. And to manage those responsibilities, they need certain attributes. Everyone doesn’t have those attributes. And, thank god, everyone doesn’t have them — if everyone became an entrepreneur, we would have a series of failed companies because there would be no one to actually run them.

So what does an entrepreneur need? Let us pen down a few things to look for in founders. They have extreme confidence in themselves and their ideas; no fear of failure; an inherent ability to take risks over and over again; an ability to constantly manage stress; are good decision-makers — the best entrepreneurs never sit on the fence; work all the time, even when not working — which means they’re sacrificing something else in their lives; are perpetual optimists who can take rejection over and over again. Having these attributes are not good or bad. And they definitely aren’t linked to success or failure as a human being.

In fact, very few people have these attributes. When people who are meant to be executives in a company become founders, everyone loses.

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